Brightest Day #19

by Doug Zawisza, Reviewer |

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Wed, February 2nd, 2011 at 7:31PM (PST)


This series is really rolling now, as the White Lantern ring on Boston Brand’s hand cryptically explains to Boston why the characters died in the last issue and alludes to the fact that those two might not be the only two of the returned twelve to meet such a fate. Additionally, the ring warns of a rising dark avatar that will seek out the Star City Forest. The ring also reveals that while all twelve had a purpose in the grand scheme of things, five had a calling above the others.

At this point in the series, I certainly expect things to really start happening, but with only a handful of issues remaining, I’m wondering if any significant resolutions will be met, especially given the pattern of dialing in to focus on one or two characters. I’m enjoying those characters’ stories, but it seems as though this series has decided to swing the focus elsewhere, and I just don’t see why that couldn’t have happened before this point or alongside the character development to this point.

I know there have been complaints that “Blackest Night” and other events haven’t truly resolved anything save to spark the next event in a string, and at this point, I’m fearful that “Brightest Day” might follow that plan. In the meantime, however, the Aquawar begins in this issue.

Siren brings her army to attack Aquaman and Jackson Hyde, hurling them from the ocean onto a crowded beach. Joe Prado (or Ivan Reis, sorry, their styles are extremely close and blend nicely) actually makes the beach crowded and resplendently detailed, right down to flip flops discarded to avoid tan lines. As someone who just sat through the “Blizzard of 2011,” seeing a keenly detailed warm beach scene added to my enjoyment of this read. Siren’s troops render hardwater weapons, and Jackson counters with his own waterbearers. From there the story picks up pace and Black Manta slices into the thick of the battle, literally. “Aquawar” may have been months in the making, but this issue certainly lets loose with the biggest battle in the war.

As event books go, this series has consistently entertained me, and provided some wonderful art twice each month. This issue made me realize just how much hasn’t really happened to this point, but it is no less enjoyable for that. Johns and Tomasi realize that there are pieces that need to be wrapped up, such as Aquaman’s inability to command living creatures of the sea, but I am concerned that in their haste to wrap this up and provide a larger threat to the Earth that some of these pieces might slide away without resolution. As I’ve said, I’ve been entertained, and I expect to continue to be, I just hope I can be entertained by a strong resolution.

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